Showing posts from December, 2013

And a Week Later....

Christmas was wonderful, even though it finished up with the obligatory post-Christmas sickness.  I have bronchitis, which I have been dreading ever since I first hurt my back.  The good news is, my back is healed enough that the coughing can't throw it out.  The bad news is, the coughing still really, really hurts.  And I passed it on to Andy.  And another friend.  Hm, I think the "good news" side needs some work.........

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays – finally!
As you probably noticed, there was no 2012 holiday letter. So a brief recap on the last TWO years:
In 2012, Andy took up the bass guitar, painted the sewing room and built some seriously beautiful shelves for me, and designed and built us a greenhouse. In August my father was hospitalized with an advanced staph infection, he spent 5 weeks in hospitals here in Boise while my mother lived with us, and he not only fully recovered from the infection—he survived Blue Cross of Idaho, which is even more remarkable. I began the year attempting to get my back/hip straightened out, joined a congressional campaign for a few months, spent 5 weeks trying to cope with my inability to cope with hospitals, due to all the stress ended up back in physical therapy as soon as my father was released, managed to sprain my back while doing physical therapy, and ended 2012 even less mobile than at the start.
This year has continued to be dominated by my back problems, but in June we…

Gettin' Ready For Christmas

What says "Christmas" more than a pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove
while building a snowman in the back yard?

It's Snowing!

The good news is, my back is surviving the cold fairly well.  The bad news?  After having a really painful day last time it snowed, my physical therapist very nicely explained that muscle injuries can be aggravated by snow and rain--I forget why, exactly, because to be honest I scoffed at the very idea.  Not aloud, of course, because that would be rude, but I will admit that I didn't really believe her.  I've heard old people say they could feel rain in their joints or knees or whatever for much of my life, but as I live in high desert, they are almost always wrong, so I had chalked it up to an old wives' tale or superstition.  It turns out, it is of very little consequence whether or not I believe her.  It's whether or not my back believes her, and it definitely does.  From about noon onwards my back has just ached.  Maybe they aren't Old Wives' Tales after all--maybe they're Old Wives Tails...............


Or at least partly. 

Saturday, I attended not one but TWO Christmas parties.  This is quite exciting for me, as I haven't been able to do anything of the kind in two years. 

The early party was a Christmas ornament exchange party that a friend of mine has been hosting for about 15 years.  I missed it last year, and was really sorry to miss all the fun and wonderful ornaments.  It's an all-girl party except for,
my friend's two little Havanese dogs.  Tango and I made friends pretty quickly--Cash paid more attention to those with potential food to share.

I love this party, and having so many ornament to remember so many years.  This is the ornament I got this year,
and it not only plays the Charlie Brown song, the record actually spins.  I almost lost it to one of my friends with children, but in the end she decided that it would take too long to explain to her children what records were and how they actually worked.  Sometimes age pays off.

Then I met Andy at the second p…

Better Late Than Never

Every anniversary, Andy and I exchange perfume and cologne.  Some years we've picked it out separately, some years we've gone shopping together.  The scent industry seems to have survived the economic downturn without a hiccup, as last year our selections cost almost twice what the ones we bought in 2006 for our wedding.  I understand inflation, but not even gas and oil have increased at THAT speed.  So we've been kicking around ideas for a new place to shop or a new way to pick out scents, and time got away from us.  As it is now the Holiday Season, the mall and just about every retail establishment has descended into crowded and obnoxious trials of patience for both of us, so this year we decided to pick out scents on-line.

That was more fun than we ever dreamed.  We started looking up scents we already had, then looked at things that people had also bought.  The reviews were almost worthless, but the descriptions were delightful.  I was sorely tempted by one described a…

Ah, Knitting.................

The dream:

How I look in Reality:

 .......but it does keep my face almost warm when I'm out walking.

The Decorations Tour

I promised Andy's mother pictures of the house as decorated this year because she's been following my 365-ornament experiment, so we're doing a little tour this morning.

In past years, I have done both upstairs and downstairs, but this is where the decorations stopped this year:
I didn't want to overdo and then end up struggling to make it through the party, so I did exercises some restraint this year.  However, this:

was FUN. I hadn't originally intended for one tree to be The Homemade Tree, but as this was the first tree that went up and I was so excited to see how all the new ornaments looked on it, it is almost entirely homemade ornaments. There are some new ornaments that Andy made this year:
which we got to keep because he isn't entirely pleased with them.  We also included the beautiful,
and pretty intricate, ornaments made by Andy's cousin Mindy, who is obviously a woman of infinite patience. We also have several very unique ornaments made by a fri…

Things I Have Learned This Week

*  If one is going to go overboard when making appetizers, it's best to make them healthy enough that they can be lunch, breakfast, and dinner for the next few days

*  Normally the cats consider me a bit of a dim bulb, but it doesn't stop them from thinking I can make it warm enough for them to go outside if they just ask often enough.

*  It turns out that I'm not yet that motivated to know if my back muscles can take our recent miserably-cold temperatures or not.  Anything below zero, or even in single digits, is just going to be ignored right now.

*  When you can be made the Bad Guy for setting limits on how often people can use you for their own convenience, it's not much of a relationship to begin with and certainly not a healthy one.

*  Just because you've made a tradition out of watching as many version of "A Christmas Carol" as you can find, it doesn't mean that you have to include "The Smurfs Christmas Carol."  All traditions need li…

Back With a Bang!

Finally! We were able to have an actual party!  I've had a Christmas party almost every year for the last 20+ years, so going two full years without a party was really strange.  And we rejoined the human race in style,
albeit a really ugly style. Andy wasn't the only one sporting lights--our contest winner
had both lights AND a singing hat, and is seen here trying (quite unsuccessfully) to get everyone gathered for a group photo.  It was hard enough to get people for individual shots--there was no stopping the party for a group shot.

We had some wonderfully creative sweaters,
front AND back:
and I'd love to show you pictures of all the fun stuff, but even taking shifts with the camera didn't capture all the creativity.  But we did have a MARVELOUS time!

Day By Day..........

Yesterday was a bad back day again, which is REALLY frustrating as I thought I was being really good this week AND it meant missing a Christmas party last night.  It turns out that there are lots of things that can cause my back to freak out while I'm trying to heal, including changes in the weather.  I won't know for about a year if the weather problem is permanent or not, but for right now, it is possible that snow combined with a zippy 4 degrees can throw my back for a loop.  Fair enough--the rest of me doesn't care for that kind of cold either. 

So today while getting ready for our party, I am taking regular breaks to sit on my new massage cushion.  The therapist told me that when muscles knot, one essentially has to re-injure them to get them to relax.  Fortunately or unfortunately, my new back massager believes in this program as well.  The packaging calls it "Shiatsu action," which sounds much more friendly than "back pulverization with he…

And We're On To Christmas!

I am not going to gloat or anything, because it was this week last year when I managed tosprain my back while doing physical therapy, so there are no limits to what I can do, but we are hosting our FIRST party in two years on Sunday.  I almost feel human again.  Or I feel like a human who still has to take muscle relaxers, take breaks, and who can still have random days of pain.  So maybe I need to work on my concept of "human," but as it's now been over two years, it's exciting to just be mobile.  AND GETTING READY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

I love spending Christmas in my own home.  We're always invited to different relatives' homes, of course, and for the first few years of our marriage all we DID was travel all over for Christmas.  But I'm 43 years old, Andy will be 50 next year, and frankly we are old enough to have our OWN Christmas traditions in OUR OWN HOME.  The thing is, I don't like to travel for Christmas.  Your house is more likely to be broken …